GALLIPOLIS — The Firefighter Memorial Wall will be dedicated at noon on Saturday, at the Gallipolis Fire Department.
The dedication ceremony is open to the public and will include an opening prayer, a flag raising ceremony by local veterans, remarks from City Manager Ted Lozier and Gallipolis Fire Chief Keith Elliott. In addition, following the dedication, members of the public are invited to tour the memorial and the station at 2818 Chestnut Street, as part of Fire Prevention Month.
Elliott said the idea for the memorial grew over the years and has several facets, including the wall itself, with special dedications to those members who have died while on active duty, of which, there have been three. A bell has been placed at the wall and a brick walkway, as well. Also represented at the memorial are special honors to past fire chiefs and firefighters.
“I think we need to recognize (first and foremost), the guys who died in the line of duty, that is the main purpose of the wall,” Elliott said. “It’s (also) important that we recognize and memorialize firemen’s service to the city, past, present and future.”
Elliott explained the memorial wall has been paid for through donations and fire department fundraisers, saying the project was a group effort involving many in the department.
Three total fire departments have protected and serviced the city of Gallipolis over the course of its history, with the current Gallipolis Fire Department established in 1861.
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Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.